Syrian President Bashar al-Assad won a fourth term in office with 95.1% of the votes in an election that will extend his rule over a country ruined by war but which opponents and the West say was marked by fraud, Reuters reported.
Syria's Assad wins 4th term with 95% of vote
STEPANAKERT, MAY 28, ARTSAKHPRESS: Assad's government says the election on Wednesday shows Syria is functioning normally despite the decade-old conflict, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and driven 11 million people - about half the population - from their homes.
Head of parliament Hammouda Sabbagh announced the results at a news conference on Thursday, saying voter turnout was around 78%, with more than 14 million Syrians taking part.
The foreign ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Britain and the United States said in a statement criticising Assad ahead of the election that the vote would not be free or fair. Turkey, an Assad adversary, has also said the election was illegitimate.
The win delivers Assad, 55, seven more years in power and lengthens his family's rule to nearly six decades. His father, Hafez al-Assad, led Syria for 30 years until his death in 2000.
Rallies with thousands of people waving Syrian flags and holding pictures of Assad while singing and dancing took place all day Thursday in celebration of the election.